LinkedIn Boosts CRM Integration with Update to Sales Navigator
Sales professionals on LinkedIn now have new ways to connect with customers and prospects through updated mobile apps and integrations with Salesforce and Google Gmail. Rolled out by LinkedIn this week, the updates are aimed at making the company's Sales Navigator tool more effective for sales and customer relationship management (CRM).
New support for data syncing with Salesforce, for instance, will automatically import CRM leads and accounts into LinkedIn's Sales Navigator. Prior to its Tuesday launch, CRM Sync was already being used by more than 20 early-adopting enterprises, according to LinkedIn.
With its new integration with Gmail, Sales Navigator enables users to directly access public LinkedIn details about prospects from within email. The updated mobile versions of Sales Navigator for iOS and Android devices will also provide users with targeted daily lead and account recommendations via a new tab feature called Discovery.
New Integration for 'Even More Insights'
The latest Sales Navigator updates are designed to tap into the company's data-driven insights into online interactions by users, senior product manager Tom Lee wrote on LinkedIn's Sales Blog earlier this week.
"We are already able to identify decision makers and the best path to them and have been surfacing these insights within Sales Navigator's recommended leads and search results," Lee said. "With [the] added integrations into Gmail and Salesforce CRM, we are able to deliver even more insights to our users in more of the places they work."
This week's announcement comes just about a month after Microsoft revealed plans to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in cash. Expected to close later this year, the transaction is expected to help Microsoft expand the market for its own Dynamics software for enterprise resource planning and CRM.
Enhancements Target 'Where Users Already Are'
While LinkedIn will continue to operate as an independent organization, its acquisition by Microsoft creates several new product opportunities that could help the two companies challenge current CRM software leader Salesforce, Infer CEO and co-founder Vik Singh, wrote in a commentary earlier this month. Salesforce had also been among the bidders vying to purchase LinkedIn.
In his commentary, Singh, whose company provides predictive sales and marketing insights based on data from numerous sources, including Microsoft and LinkedIn, said that the combined organization could enable new offerings such as redefined business email, a universal identity tool for professionals, better bundled services for salespeople and improved CRM capabilities.
In an email to us today, Singh said this week's product announcements from LinkedIn were probably in the works before the Microsoft acquisition was announced and reflect the ongoing evolution of LinkedIn's tools such as its new Sales Navigator for Gmail that builds upon its Rapportive -- an email widget -- experience.
"A big theme in sales and marketing tech is bringing the insights to where the users already are (i.e., better integrations with email and CRM) to simplify the user experience and drive more usage," he told us. "These advancements certainly follow this trend."